Thursday, October 16, 2008

Harrowing

I'm not a nervous person. I'm not paranoid over anything. I let my kids take the city bus. I leave my doors unlocked most of the time. I almost never lock my car. I let my kids walk to the canyon and play by the stream. I don't spend a lot of time worrying.

This week gave me a lot of reasons to worry. Let's start with Monday.

We've had a cold snap, and as luck would have it, our furnace went out. Fortunately, we have a wood stove and a pellet stove. I let Ammon stay home from school 'sick'. He had a headache, sore throat, and good grades. I'm merciful. He begged to be able to light a fire in the basement stove. I let him, and he built a roaring one. About 4 hours later, I decided to take a shower. Ammon was engrossed with some adventure on the computer and my little guy was wandering around amusing himself. As I stepped out of the shower, my little leprechaun came to me with his hands clamped over his mouth. "My wip caught on fire!" was all he said.
"Your wip?" I pried his hands from his mouth and saw that he had a pretty good blister forming on his top lip. I tried to get him to be more specific, but no luck. I couldn't figure out what he could have burned it on. Then I remembered the wood stove. I grabbed Ammon and we ran downstairs.
I couldn't believe what I saw. The stove's door was hanging open, and a burning log was balancing on the edge of the stove and the hearth. A few inches under the log was a comforter all bunched up. Then I looked on the rug and found a long stick that had the top 5 inches charred. I could tell from this evidence exactly what had happened. He'd used a hot pad to open the door, and a log had come tumbling out. He'd grabbed a stick to try to get it back in. The stick caught on fire, a pretty good one by the look of it, and he'd brought it up to his mouth to blow out. The flames burned his lip and he'd dropped it. Miraculously, he'd been able to blow that fire out.

Can you believe it? You'd think nothing else that could happen this week would top that, right?

Until today.

I had an appointment to schlep one of my kids to this morning, so the house was filthy when I finally made it home at about 10 am. I let my little guy play alone in the front yard while I cleared the table and wiped it. I joined him in the front yard on my way to empty the trash. Up by the road, I could see a man about six houses down, walking around some mailboxes. Being more than my share of nosy, I scrutinized him. He saw me watching and struck a casual 'I'm not up to no good' pose against the mailbox of an elderly couple from our church. I decided to go call them and make sure they knew him. I gathered up my little one and started to walk inside. The only problem was, the guy was no longer standing still, he was walking toward me! I came inside and walked straight to the phone and called the police dispatch. There was still a part of me that would feel too stupid calling 911 on some random guy out for a walk.
The dispatcher was calm and encouraging, asking for all the details. I'd barely begun, when the doorbell rang.
I peeked out the window and it was HIM! I frantically whispered this to the police lady, and she asked me if my door was locked. My heart dropped. It wasn't. I quietly set down the phone and tiptoed to the door. I locked it as silently as I could. I locked the kitchen door too and ran back to the phone. "Just so you know, the police are on their way.... What's he doing now? I looked again, and he was gone! I hadn't seen him leave, I had no idea which way he'd gone.
She thanked me for calling, and asked if I was calm enough to hang up. I'm always calm during the actual crisis, so I was fine. She told me some police would be by to talk to me soon. I hung up the phone and looked around.

Shoot! The house was a mess! I spent the next few minutes scrubbing egg yolk off my dining room benches and putting away all the scriptures on the couches.

In just a few minutes, a policeman was at my door. He had the best news ever: they caught the guy one block away, and he had his pockets full of stolen mail and credit cards. One officer told me he was a home-burgling meth addict "a freaking walking crime spree". Since I'd seen him at it, he obviously had some intentions here. He told the police he planned to get in my house by asking to use the bathroom. "As if this wasn't creepy enough!" the cop said.

So there you go. My house didn't burn down, my little guy just has a scab on his lip. I didn't get ravished and plundered by a meth-riddled criminal. Everything's fine, but I'm not sure if I feel less safe, or more so. I definitely feel protected through all this, and I'm very grateful.

17 comments:

Lee said...

HOLY CRAP MISSY! That is scary. My parents had a meth dude break into their house once.. my Dad caught him. I am so sorry. Good for you for calling the cops!!!!
And I am sorry about the burned lip.. but that is great your house didn't burn down. Hope all is well!!

Michelle said...

I am SO, SO glad you called the police! That is so scary. Hey, why don't you start locking your doors. :)

Michelle Stott said...

Wow that is crazy. I am glad that your family was okay. Good job catching a criminal.

Home of the Muddy Kids said...

LOCK YOUR FREAKING DOOR, YOU CRAZY WOMAN! I lock the door, way out here in the middle of the woods, every time I take a shower! There are BAD guys around, you know!!

Tia Juana said...

I am now a door locking fool! I have never been a door locking fool but I AM NOW!!

Seriously, you must be living right. It's times like these that those redundant prayers that that the kids say over and over again on every day of our lives "Bless us with peace and safety...." seem very real and very answered.

I am chilled to the bone with your stories and I don't know that I can now sleep.

YIKERS!

Sleepless In St. George said...

holy crow...we never lock our doors either...I don't even have a key to the house on my key chain! haha...well I guess we do lock the outside doors...just not in the garage! Glad the cops caught the guy!

Christy said...

That is so scary!!! I am glad everyone is safe.

Allison said...

Whoa! That is so freaky! Way to follow your instincts. Aren't you SO glad that you live worthy of the companionship of the Holy Ghost? I don't know that I would have called the Police...not until he rang my doorbell, anyway. So glad you are all safe!

kersten campbell said...

Oh my gosh! I am so glad you're safe! What would I do without your blog stories? No, seriously...that is so scary! I wouldn't be able to sleep after that.

Dweezleboss said...

The scariest thing is I live next door. Of course, I have all these big strong guys hanging around all the time.

By the way, Blade does a really crappy job of telling the story.

The Bloxham Bunch said...

Holy Crapoly girl!! I think I would be a bit nervous to do anything for a while if I had a week like that. I'm glad everything turned out ok but again HOLY CRAP!!

Jenn said...

Bad boys, bad boys watcha gonna do? Whatcha gonna do when Earlgirl comes for you? Bad boys, bad boys...

Kimberly said...

"Ere you left your room this morning,
Did you think to pray?
In the name of Christ our Savior,
Did you sue for loving favor,
As a shield today?"

Guessing you did... how wonderful that you had to clear your couch of scriptures. What a shield, egh?

Glad you are safe.

shannon said...

Wow! I am so impressed you called the police. So many people don't listen to that little voice telling them what do to out of fear of being wrong and looking silly. Way to Go Earl Girl!!!

Jodi said...

My heart is still racing after reading this! I am so impressed you called....I am afraid I would have thought that he had some reason for being there and would have given him the benefit of the doubt! I probably would have answered the door too! Oh my!

Good job! You did exactly what you should have... now if only I can learn from this!!!

Jodi said...

I was hoping for a photo of the wood burning stove incident, but then I realized when your house is about to burn down, the last thing you think about is taking a photo for the blog!!!!! :D

John and Stephanie's blog said...

That is so scary.

I don't take any chances, I lock all doors out of habit; growing up in a big city, leaving doors unlocked was never an option.

You were brave, and you listened to the still small voice.